Quarriers' Moray Breaks
A story by Quarriers
Quarriers aided 4 Moray activity providers to widen the range of short breaks and develop services for an array of additional support needs. Carers and their Cared-for took part in the pilot, with other creative break options including trips, tickets and equipment through Time to Live funding.
What Quarriers' Moray Breaks did
We worked with four local providers to develop their services to be more accessible for people with additional and complex needs. Each provider was supported to identify key areas for development, including the purchase of specially adapted bikes.
The creative scope and ideas for breaks through Time to Live funding was promoted alongside the activities and breaks available through the four providers. Through local media, professionals, GP surgeries and our own service publications Carers were encouraged to apply.
The barriers to Carers applying for breaks, including time and energy constraints, low confidence levels, and stigmatised Caring roles, were addressed through target support by Quarriers staff to those Carers recognised most in need. The staff time involved in this stage of the project was vindicated in Carer feedback and evaluation. Applications were reviewed and approved by a multiagency panel. We then worked with Carers and each provider throughout the project to support the co-ordination and tailoring of breaks.
The 38 breaks awarded through the pilot consisted of activities including surfing, biking, pottery and gardening, and supported breaks within local hotels across Moray. Excepting breaks tailored for Young Carers, the pilot project breaks were designed for the Cared for in particular. And although Carers were then able to take time to themselves instead of partaking in the activities, all families and couples involved with the pilot project chose to take part together.
The 42 breaks awarded through Time to Live included bikes, sporting equipment, coaching lessons and pamper sessions. Whilst breaks ranged from an activity for the Carer alone to family trips, the impact of the breaks evidenced mutual benefit for the Carer and Cared-for.
Only 13 of the total breaks were taken outwith Moray, showing a successful beginning to improving the options for Carers and their loved ones within the district.
Their overnight stay recharged their batteries, gave them both a break from routine, reduced their isolation and made them feel more confident to try new things. They developed a new interest in gardening and were able to have some fun and relax as a couple, building some lasting memories for the future.
David commented, "The break brought us closer together and gave us loads to talk about. We watched the sun go down by the sea - first time in years - it made us feel at one with the universe. It felt like the beginning of something. Made us focus on what is really important - us. Creative Breaks will help you find 'a new you'.
They are planning to visit Findhorn again.
“The bike has been a great thing, my son now cycles to school with his friends and has discovered the bmx park where he is learning to do new stunts. He's making new friends and is closer to his school group being able to share over the bike. He has also found a new interest in all things bmx, including finding new parks to try, learning to look after his bike and how to customise it.”
“It has boosted us which was really needed. Encouraged us to try things we hadn’t done for ages. Being on holiday gave him the confidence to get on a bus - something he hasn’t wanted to do since his stroke. With company he now knows he can do it and this has given him back some independence. The break helped me carry on and it was nice to be the one being cared for and looked after for a change.”
“It was my first time on a bike really enjoyed it; really want to get a bike! Will go back to Outfit Moray to do more triking it was just perfect. I had fun-I feel I don’t get out so this is great.”
What Quarriers has learnedThe pilot project with the four local providers increased our understanding of the perceived barriers to providing services within an SDS landscape, and the recognition to work at the pace of both the organisations and the Carers to adapt, develop and trial new things. The project to date has provided valuable learning to be built upon for further work and introducing new providers.
The range of unique breaks provided through Time to Live element of the project has highlighted that Carers benefitted most when there was scope to tailor breaks and purchases to their own situation. Achieving creative and sustainable breaks required the flexibility for Carers to access and purchase services and activities individually, as well as with the support from staff and through the pilot project where perceived barriers and limits were challenged.
As a Carers service, we recognise that the need for a break does not go away. We support Carers to access respite through support packages and local authority respite funding. The Creative Breaks fund has allowed for creativity, innovation and the crucial option of activities or breaks for the whole family. In cases where those being cared for may not be in services - particularly mental health and substance misuse cases - this fund is the sole option for Carers to access support and a chance for a break, where conventional respite or support packages are not appropriate.
Following feedback from previous learning events, we also recognised the need to reduce the level of support in organising and purchasing breaks for some Carers. The process of issuing cheques directly to Carers to spend on their break was emphasised more this year, with successful results. The follow up of collecting receipts, evidencing and evaluating the breaks still required support in most cases, and increased postage costs attributed to this approach were not anticipated. We will look to developing use of IT going forward where possible to reduce this cost in future.
The involvement of a multi-agency panel has also promoted the project locally. With professionals including social workers, teachers and healthcare staff, the panel process has allowed for a wide knowledge bank to be applied to each application with the results feeding back additional supports, ideas and funding options surpassing that of the initial application request.
Of the breaks awarded, 10 were not taken due to varying circumstances, mostly in relation to a change of their situation or Caring role. When targeting those most in need of a break, we have recognised there will remain a level of risk. When working with providers in the pilot, this understanding of a Carers’ changeable circumstances has improved, with systems to manage cancellation fees in the future.